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Global Travel Trends

Taking Jordan's tourism industry into the digital age

Jul 18, 2010

AMMAN – Global travel trends are changing rapidly, especially since the advent of the Internet and the digital era. More and more travelers are going online to plan, book, and even review their holidays; their choice of destination is being influenced online and they in turn provide feedback on their holiday experiences to their peers and the international community at large. It is thus vital for Jordan's tourism industry, in order to remain globally competitive, to reach international visitors online at every touch point in the purchase cycle and convert potential visitors into bookings.

To introduce digital and social media network opportunities to Jordan's tourism sector as a tool to market and sell a variety of tourism products and services and increase online bookings, the USAID/Jordan Tourism Development Project II (Siyaha) organized a conference and workshops on digital and social media marketing in partnership with the Jordan Tourism Board, Jordan Hotel Association, and JITOA. The main conference took place today and follow-up workshops and meetings will continue until the end of the month.

“As digital and social media are increasingly becoming determining factors in vacation selection by global travelers, it is vital that Jordan’s tourism sector capitalized on this medium and is able to compete against other destinations with cutting-edge technology and tactics. This conference will help the sector do just that,” said Mr. Ibrahim Osta, USAID/Siyaha chief of party.

“This digital media conference is a fantastic opportunity for all Jordan tourism partners to share knowledge and expertise and learn techniques and strategies that will help move the Jordan tourism sector forward into the digital age. As a leading institution utilizing social media and e-marketing tools to promote Jordan, the Jordan Tourism Board is proud to be a partner, as well as an attendee of this event. I strongly encourage all tourism sectors to join us in attending this informative event," said HE JTB director Mr. Nayef Al Fayez.

Today's inaugural conference hosted expert speakers from E-Tourism Frontiers, TripAdvisor, Expedia, WAYN,, and Seismonaut who discussed topics related to global online travel trends, travel distribution trends, and opportunities for the Middle East, social media and networking in tourism, and e-marketing for tourism. Attendees represented tourism and hospitality professionals who plan, develop, implement, and evaluate marketing strategies, along with IT and advertising industry professionals working with the tourism and hospitality industry sector.

The conference will be followed by nine days of specialized workshops to take place in Amman, Aqaba, and Petra for hotel and accommodation service providers, trade associations, tour operators, destination management organizations, and tourism service providers. As part of the workshops, one-on-one meetings will be organized between local tourism and hospitality marketing professionals and experts from E-Tourism Frontiers, an international company specialized in conducting training and capacity building programs on e-tourism. These meetings and workshops will ensure that participants gain maximum benefit from the conference and are ready to tap into the digital arena.

In 2009, online tourism bookings reached US$153 billion from the US and Europe alone. The average global growth rate in travel bookings made online is 34.6 percent per annum. So by following this global trend, it is anticipated that Jordan's tourism sector will access new markets leading to an increase in tourist influx to Jordan and enhancing marketing and promotion of Jordan as a global destination.

Taking Jordan's tourism industry into the digital age
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